Mortality rate higher than expected for first time since end-2021
For the first time since the end of 2021, the number of deaths was higher than expected in April. Researchers from Statistics Netherlands (CBS) pin the excess mortality on the coronavirus and a flu wave. The number of deaths has since fallen again.
Statistics Netherlands only speaks of excess mortality if the number of deaths is much higher than expected for the time of year. That was the case for most of April, only not in the last week. On average, 350 more people than usual died per week in April. Last week, 150 more people died than expected, but according to the researchers, there was no longer excess mortality.
The statisticians do not yet have the data to determine the cause of the death wave in April, but they do have suspicions. "There are still coronavirus deaths to be regretted," said a spokesperson, who also pointed to the flu wave that started in mid-March as a possible cause.
The last time the Netherlands had an extended period of excess mortality was in the autumn of 2021. That coincided with a wave of the coronavirus.
In April, a striking number of elderly and vulnerable people died. CBS noted a high number of deaths among long-term care recipients, people over the age of 80, and - to a lesser extent - people between the ages of 65 and 80. The cause of this is also not yet known. The spokesperson suspects that deaths from flu and the coronavirus were more noticeable in nursing homes.
The Cabinet lifted most coronavirus measures in mid-March because the virus was on its way out. Even after this, the declining trend of deaths caused by the coronavirus continued, figures from the public health institute RIVM show. But dozens of people are still dying from the virus every week.
Reporting by ANP